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Need to make a deciscion based on my back ground NEXYS 2 OR 4

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Hi I am new here. My background is I used ISE 10 but mainly used the schematic capture and the FSM software for my designs.  I used a little VHDL and Verilog from the library to form some blocks for my schematic projects.  For the most part my designs have all centered on Schematics.  I have some unique design blocks for full projects I did with the finite State machine software. I have in stock has a Nexys 2 board with a Spartan 3500E on it and I was planning to use for a demo model when I found out this board is being discontinued. I like the 7A100 you have on the Nexys 4. This will multiply my capabilities compared the old board I had. I also downloaded the Vivado series design tool and found it very powerful in some aspects to ISE. I lost my connection to someone that can write code and Tcl script. I need to get this demonstration model done ASAP so I have the following questions.

  1. I see you cannot migrate schematic files to Vivado. I don’t want to migrate complete projects just the blocks of circuits in them especially the ones I generated from the FSM software which is converted to VHDL and Verilog. Can I make custom IP’s from them and use them in Vivado? Are there files I can take from my old ISE project circuit blocks and can use in my IP catalog and Vivado?  In the IP catalog I don’t see some circuits I need in my design.
  2. I don’t have time for a learning curve. Is the Vivado software a software that requires more knowledge and experience concerning writing code than I have (which is limited)? If I can handle the learning curve using the Vivado design tools in a descent amount of time, I want to use the Nexys 4 with 7A100 in it. If I can’t then I will have to use the Nexys 2 board that has. the Spartan 3500E
  3. What kind of prerequisites in learning do I need to perform a successful project in Vivado?

Thanks

 

Rex

Edited by KaitlynFranz

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Hello,

 

First of all: you won't be able to use Vivado with Spartan 3 FPGA (which is present on Nexys2). Therefore moving towards Artix 7 FPGAs seems to be a good decision. 

 

1. Indeed, Vivado does not convert schematic sources 

 

You can add all source files, with the exception of Schematic (SCH) and Architecture Wizard (XAW) source files, from an existing ISE Design Suite project to new project in the Vivado Design Suite. 

 

 

But you can do something else.

In ISE, under "Design Utilities", you can find "View HDL Functional Model" which shows you the VHDL or Verilog code corresponding to your schematic.  The language VHDL or Verilog is chosen according to the setting "Preferred Language" in "Design Properties" of your project.

For VHDL for example, you will see a file having vhf extension. In order to have a VHDL source file (vhd extension), you should rename the file to vhd extension, remove schematic source file and add vhd file. Like this you will replace the schematic sources with HDL sources.

 

2. I consider that learning to use VIvado is a smart decision as XIlinx seems to push forward this new tool. So this might be the future. Using Vivado is somehow different than ISE but is not much more complicated. And there are also things that might be regarded as simpler (you do the programming in Vivado, for example).

 

3. There are no explicit prerequisites. Of course you should understand what is a HDL (Hardware Description Language) but this understanding will come while working with VHDL or Vivado.

 

Good luck, and write us if you have further questions.

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Hi, I learnt Verilog on my own and haven't touched about the logic design for many years. The schematic capture let you know about the idea of gate design. However, most of the digital design projects need HDL skillsets. 

 

I think once you understand the digital design theory. You can catch up the Verilog / VHDL. 

 

Digilent has a learn module learn.digilentinc.com to teach people how to use Vivado to learn Verilog. 

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